Thursday, June 29, 2023

Tufts Soldiers of The American Civil War

Charles Crittenden Tufts, Illinois; November 2012


Charles Edgar Tufts, Civil War soldier, and his family story. 

By Thomas Tufts.

I love a good genealogy inquiry on a rainy Sunday morning. I often devote Sundays to genealogy, and I am working on all Civil War Tufts soldiers, so down the rabbit hole I went.

Curtis Gann, Jr. sent me an email about his second great-grandfather Charles Edgar Tufts. Curtis has done a lot of research and his initial inquiry was about any information I might have about William Tufts, ancestor of Charles and himself, and a lightning strike at William’s home. (The lightning strike news article is likely a different William Tufts in Salem, Massachusetts.)

My first reply when receiving inquiries usually includes requests for more data to find the right Tufts line. I also reply with links to my blog Tufts Family Genealogy, and the Tufts Kinsmen Association websites. This line of Tufts was easy to find as I had done some research on some of their ancestors.

Charles Edgar Tufts (1843-1929)

Charles was the son of William Tufts and Charlotte (Corbett) Tufts. He was born in 1843 in Washington, New York. The William Tufts family moved from Massachusetts to New York and settled in Virginia.


Peter Tufts (the immigrant) (1617-1700), Charlestown, Massachusetts and Mary Pierce (1626-1702)
Jonathan Tufts (1660-1722) Malden, Massachusetts and Rebecca Waite (1662-1775)
James Tufts (1681-1733) Medford, MA and Ruth Grimes (1681-1721)
William Tufts (10 June, 1713-29 October, 1783) and Katherine Wyman (1717-1748/9)

George Tufts (1746-1796) Medford, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Hartwell (1748-1823)

George Tufts (1768-1818) Medford, Massachusetts, and Rebecca Frost (1766-1838)


At the age of eighteen, in June 1861, just two months after the battle for Fort Sumter initiated the beginning of the Civil War, Charles went to the Goochland courthouse and enlisted in the Confederate Army. He was boarding in Goochland and working as a clerk. They placed him in The Light Artillery. The Goochland Light Artillery was organized in May 1861, with men recruited in Goochland County. Serving in western Virginia they fought at Carnifex Ferry, then moved to Tennessee. Here the company was captured at Fort Donelson in February 1862. He was also held at Camp Douglas, in Chicago, Illinois. This prison was called the “Andersonville of the North” an unlikely place to survive. Then he was exchanged for Union prisoners and Charles’ unit returned to Virginia and was assigned to the Department of Richmond (detail from National Parks website). Charles’ battery served as heavy artillery at Chaffin's Bluff until February 1864, when it was converted to infantry. During March and April, the unit was broken up. Captains John H. Guy and Jonathan Talley were in command. Charles was a Corporal in some records and his pension indicate that his right foot was injured in the war by the recoil of a cannon as a carriage wheel passed over his foot. In April 1865, Charles was captured again and imprisoned until the war’s end in June 1865. There are definitely more records that could be discovered to fill in the rest of his service. I have only highlighted the details available to me as of this writing (2023). Please forward any corrections or additions to

This story is eerily similar to the story of Union soldier Caleb Tufts of New Hampshire. He was captured at his first battle and spent time in three prisons in the south, including Andersonville. (link to Caleb book)


After the war, Charles married Mary Ann Wiltshire (1868) and had four children: Robert Edgar, Charles Leonard, Joseph Byron, and Mary E(?). Charles’ wife Mary Ann died in 1878 at 32 Years old. It appears that after her death, the children went to her father’s home and were raised in the Wiltshire family. They are listed there in the 1880 census in Jackson, Virginia. Charles is never listed again in a census with his children. Charles married Annie E. Martin on Aug 21, 1889, in Virginia. They had no children.

 In March 1887 Charles was representing the Grass Killer company of Richmond selling hoe & rakes. On April 19, 1889, he was hired by M.C. Strasburger Liquor Store to work in the sample room/saloon, while he worked for a shipyard as an express wagon driver. Charles was probably working at the express wagon during the day and the saloon at night.  A newspaper at the time stated that Charles was a polite and agreeable gentleman. On September 27, 1929, Charles lost his house from tax delinquency.

Two pension documents from 1915 and 1922 contain Charles’s address, age, and a description of his war injury. In 1922, his status was changed from partial to full disability. He was a member of the R. E. Lee Camp until his death. (The R E Lee camp was a Confederate soldier’s organization and home in Richmond, Virginia.) His cause of death in 1929 was carcinoma of the bladder (bladder cancer). He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. There is a biography and some family members at his findagrave page.


Biography information by Researcher Curtis Gann Jr.

Information gathered for Charles E. Tufts from newspaper and military records. I verified through all census records in Virginia(?) that he was the only Charles Tufts (other than his son, Charles Leonard) living in that state. Thus, all the newspapers articles I found are indeed for him. Also, some information about his children was gleaned from a family bible.  Additional information was obtained from and

Images are available on the Encyclopedia Virginia website and held as original glass plates at the Virginia Historical Society.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tufts soldiers of the American Civil War

 A recent inquiry into how to research military service led me into a project of listing all the Civil War Soldiers named Tufts. This project will endeavor to list all the American Civil War soldiers. I will cross post to Tufts Kinsmen Association website as I get the research started.

But first here are two short stories of soldiers I have discovered beginning this project. One was a Union soldier while the other was in the Confederate Army.

Alfred Augustus Tufts, Civil War soldier, and respected civil servant in Arkansas

(he) performs the duties of his office in an able and efficient manner safely accounting to "Uncle Sam" for every cent of Government money coming into his hands. He has always been a stalwart Republican from principle and is not in any sense of the word what is commonly known as a Mugwump; neither can he now be called a "Carpet Bagger," as he has attained a majority residence in the land of his adoption…

(See biography below)

Alfred A Tufts was the son of Amos Tufts (1789-1854) and Adelia Rosetta Lahae (Schipper/Shipper) Tufts (1809-11896).  Amos Tufts was a successful contractor who built some of the first piers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and engaged in trading before moving to New York City.  Tufts Kinsmen states: “He reorganized nature’s estuaries of the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers to make the city of Milwaukee the formidable lake-port it is today.” (Records are hard to find for Amos Tufts and he is confused in numerous trees online with other Amos Tufts in the same time frame. Research continues. Please forward any corrections omission or additions to this family record.)


Peter Tufts (the immigrant) (1617-1700) and Mary Pierce (1626-1702)

Jonathan Tufts (1660-1722) Malden, Massachusetts, and Rebecca Waite (1662-1775)

Joseph Tufts (1704-1758) Medford MA and Lydia Francis (1703-1778)

Joseph Tufts (1730/1-1778) Medford MA and Hannah Cutter (1723/4-1779)

Samuel Tufts (1759-1819) and Martha Upham (1761-1832)

Alfred served in Company K, 126th Illinois Infantry for three years. His unit saw service in the Mississippi River campaign in 1863 and Arkansas in 1864. Alfred mustered out at the end of the war and spent the rest of his life in Camden, Arkansas.

Alfred’s story of military service and public service are detailed in old style below. I don’t think I could write a better biography. (Note: A “receiver of public funds” was a clerk of sorts, charged with receiving money for land divisions by the government.) Sometimes known as Captain AA Tufts, Alfred is remembered with a decaying water fountain in Camden. Alfred’s grave plot and markers are pictured on the findagrave page in Greenwood Cemetery, Camden. 


Dedication of the water fountain to A. A. Tufts

A portion of a newspaper article, mentioning the A. A. Tufts fountain states the following "The fountain is of metal, silvered and decorated with gilt. It is surmounted by a pillar supporting three immense globe lights. It is located beside the Camden National Bank, where Major Tufts spent many years of his life." Today the fountain is neglected and needs a restoration effort to save it.

The following biography was compiled from The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. [is this all one source or two sources (SABHM and FBHMSA)? If two separate sources, delet the comma after SABHM, and add the word (not in talics) “and”.

Alfred A. Tufts, receiver of public moneys of the United States land office at Camden, Arkansas, was born September 3, 1847, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a son of Amos and Adelia (Shipper) Tufts, who were born in Medford and Springfield, Massachusetts, respectively. Some years after their marriage they removed to Wisconsin. Amos Tufts was a large contractor and builder, and while in Milwaukee built its first pier. He was also the owner of a wood and willow manufactory, but after being burned out, he removed to New York City, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits until his death in 1854. His widow, a lady of great refinement and lovely Christian character, survived him thirteen years. [JET1] The Tufts family were originally from England and their genealogy can now be traced back to Captain Peter Tufts, who settled in Medford, Massachusetts, about the year 1638. Alfred A. Tufts received his education in the schools of New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio. At the commencement of the late Civil War he was residing in Illinois, and although a youth, he responded to the call of his country, and enrolled himself as one of its defenders; enlisting in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and after serving three years, or until the close of the great conflict, was mustered out at Pine Bluff, Arkansas in July, 1865. Shortly after his return to Illinois he engaged in teaching. In May 1867, he accepted a government situation in Camden, Arkansas, and since that time has cast his fortunes for weal or woe with the people of that hospitable little city. He served as deputy clerk for four years, and afterward was elected county and circuit clerk for the period of four years, but only served as such two years, being legislated out of office by the adoption of the Baxter Constitution of 1874. During this period, he was licensed to practice law, but has never felt free to devote his time and attention to what, under other circumstances, would have been his chosen profession. He served as receiver of United States public moneys from 1871 to 1873, when he resigned the position. In April 1873, he was again appointed to the same office, and was again reappointed in 1879 and 1883. He was removed by President Cleveland in 1885 for offensive partisanship, but was reappointed by President Harrison in October 1889, and now, as heretofore, performs the duties of his office in an able and efficient manner safely accounting to "Uncle Sam" for every cent of Government money coming into his hands. He has always been a stalwart Republican from principle and is not in any sense of the word what is commonly known as a Mugwump; neither can he now be called a "Carpet Bagger," as he has attained a majority residence in the land of his adoption. The following extract from the Ouachita (Camden) Herald of June 2, 1887, reflects the opinion of the people on that subject: "Twenty years ago today, Captain A. A. Tufts pitched his tent here, and became a citizen of Camden. He was then almost a beardless youth, but in spite of some obstacles in the way of sectional prejudices he had come to stay. During these twenty years he has passed through some warm scenes - some heated campaigns - and has often been arrayed in politics against the Democracy of this county, but his conduct and bearing have ever been such as to denote the inborn gentleman, and he has commanded the respect and admiration of all classes and creeds. He is now reckoned as one of the most substantial citizens of our county, and we congratulate him on having nearly attained his maturity as a citizen of Camden." All of the spare time of his busy life for the past fifteen years has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, in which he has been quite successful. He is a large, real estate owner, a public-spirited and useful citizen, and is considered by all an exceptionally good businessman. In addition to the ordinary affairs of business and politics, Mr. Tufts has taken a deep interest in many secret societies and is now past grand chancellor and past supreme representative of the order of Knights of Pythias and past grand commander of Knights Templar. He is also a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, a Shriner, and an Elk. In February 1873, he was married to Miss Nellie D. Scott, the youngest daughter of the late Hon. Christopher C. Scott, who for twenty years before the late war, was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. They had one child, Maude Shippen Tufts born 1873 died 1876 and buried in Scott Cemetery in Camden, Arkansas. Cause of death was whooping cough.